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Real-time search, the next evolutionary step

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Marketing Strategy

This guest post was contributed by Christian Georgeou of Search Engine Watch, producers of the Search Engine Strategies San Jose Conference & Expo.

While Google will probably be a part of the search universe for the foreseeable future, the speed by which social media has arrived prompts a new question: How are users search habits evolving?

Frank Watson explored this question in his recent article: “Does Twitter Reflect a Change in How We Search?” which focused on the rise of Twitter, its real-time search functions and how the world of instant collaborative information is driving its success.

Real-time search encompasses key features that cull information not from a database, as traditional search engines do, but rather from live feeds of conversation. In essence, each user becomes the database, and the knowledge they have is the information that is being brought to bear.

Traditional search engines rely on content being posted to sites, which ultimately turn into the results that the crawlers pick up. The process for crawlers to gather these results takes time and depends on how well the sites are optimized. Twitter’s system, on the other hand, brings results in the form of active users’ posts, instantly.

Users are naturally becoming educated searchers, and as such are continually demanding higher quality results from more trusted sources. The Internet, while providing abundant information, often delivers questionable content or simply content from a small number of providers. Within the collaborative world of social media, users can choose whom they will follow, have a greater number of sources to choose from and receive that information even faster than before.

Twitter has been able to tap this space more effectively than Google. It will be interesting to see if they can stay innovative enough to become the next big player in search.

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